Brewster F3A-1 'Corsair'


  Base model:F3A
  Designation System:U.S. Navy / Marines
  Designation Period:1922-1962
  Basic role:Fighter

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
04515 / 04774, 08550 / 08797, 11067 / 11293, 11294 / 11646, 48940 / 49359


Recent comments by our visitors
 , TX
For anyone interested the F3A-1 Brewster (SN# 4634) is currently under restoration at a very reputable company called Ezell Aviation in Texas. I am currently one of the techs working on this project. Check out the progress here http://www.ezellaviation.com/
01/19/2015 @ 12:01 [ref: 68894]
 , TX
I friend of mine, COL McPhail, USMC flew the F4U Corsair in WWII and Korea. He flew all three producers of the Corsair, Vought, Goodyear and Brewster. His 1st was (2 1hr flights) in a 'Birdcage' (with small bubble on top) in Feb 1944 in the Pacific, before returning to the states as an F4U instructor for new & trasitioning pilots. During this 1yr period, neither he, his fellow instructors nor his student aviators EVER had a problem with the Brewster Corsair. He saw no difference among the three in flight characteristics [F4U-1(A), FG-1(A) and F3A-1(A); as well as the -1Ds]. He returned to the Pacific at Okinawa in Jan 1945 flying the Vought/Goodyear -1Ds, where he shot down two Kamikazes (Zeke & Nate). Keep in mind that the Fleet Air Arm flew Brewster F3A-1As extensively, having to service aging Corsairs with little or no complaints. Someone may want to research FAA records to verify.
03/30/2014 @ 05:47 [ref: 68446]
 d wads
 cohasset, MA
The Brewster F3A was an F4U "Corsair" but built by Brewster (instead of Chance-Vought) for the U.S NAVY. during W.W. 2 .
05/02/2012 @ 08:10 [ref: 56628]
 Michael Stansfield
 , VA
There are some misconceptions about the Brewster built Corsairs. The biggest is the quality control issue, usually citing wing failure during dives. The fact is that such stories are not true. The U.S. Navy found no quality problems in the Corsairs as they accepted them for service in the U.S. or for the Lend-Lease program. Brewster's problem was poor management and accounting. They were never a large company and produced few Corsairs compared to Vought and Goodyear, but Brewster's output was actually pretty good considering the size of the company.

Brewster produced only a few of the birdcage canopy F3A-1's, approximately 68, before switching production to the raised canopy F3A-1 (aka F3A-1A). Brewster did not finish any F3A-1D's as the company was shut down by the government before -1D production could begin and there is no record of the navy accepting a F3A-1D.

Of the 735 Corsairs produced by Brewster, 430 were sent to the British under the Lend-Lease program. The rest were used for training pilots in the U.S.
12/05/2009 @ 06:40 [ref: 25386]
 John Cronin
 , ME
Corsair I was the designation by the Fleet Air Arm for the F4U-1, F3A-1 & FG-1. (95 Built) I do not believe any of the Corsair I were used in combat due to the height of its wings when folded preventing its storage in Royal Navy Hangar Decks.

The below Corsairs had clipped wings, shortened by two feet, in order to be stored below in the hangar decks of Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers:

Corsair II was the designation by the Fleet Air Arm for the F4U-1A, F3A-1A, FG-1A it received.
These were the first Corsairs carrier qualified. The RN flew them from Carriers on the attacks on the Tipitz in April 1944. Concurrently the British Far East Fleet operated them from Carriers in the Indian Ocean off of Ceylon also in April 1944.

Corsair III was the designation by the Fleet Air Arm for the F3A-1D's (F4U-1D)that it received, if any, from Brewster.

Corsair IV was the designation by the Fleet Air Arm for the FG-1D's (F4U-1D) it received from Goodyear.
Canadian, Lt. R.H Gray RCNVR, HMS Formidable (BPF TF37), earned the Vicoria Cross (posthumously awarded 13 November, 1945) on August 9, 1945 for sinking a Japanese Destroyer in Onagawa Bay on Honshu in a Corsair IV. Only the second fighter pilot to receive the VC in WW2.
05/02/2008 @ 12:23 [ref: 20780]
 Jeff Pearson
 , CA
Here's a piece of Brewster F3A-1 triva that seems to have been "misplaced". In keeping with Brewster's habit of assigning names to their products that start with the letter "B" (Buffalo, Buccaneer), their in-house name for the F3A-1 was "Battler".

It's tremendous that Mr. Cralley was finally able to fend off the despicable, contemptable and tax dollar wasting attempt by the Navy to reposess this plane. I look forward to seeing this Battler restored to flying status.

May I suggest it be ultimately displayed in Marine dress, as to do so in Navy trim would be an insult to both Battlers (the plane AND Mr. Cralley!!).
11/28/2006 @ 09:06 [ref: 14860]
 Jim Jager
 Kalamazoo, MI
My comment is more of a question, an earlier comment states: "Brewster Aeronautical Corporation produced versions of the F4U-1 and F4U-1D, which were designated F3A-1 and F3A-1D respectively".
If that statement is accurate, then the F3A-1 would be what is referred to as a 'birdcage canopy' Corsair, as that is what the F4U-1 is. The more commonly seen canopy styles began with the F4U-1A.
SO, does anyone know if that statement is accurate: ARE the early Brewster Corsairs 'birdcage canopy' versions?
11/17/2006 @ 05:11 [ref: 14757]
 Bobby Massey
 Madison, GA
My father's Marine Corp. flight log book has an entry for October 18th and 21st 1944 of him flying one of the F3A-1's whose serial number is listed here, #11293.
10/06/2006 @ 19:30 [ref: 14392]
 Kevin Ryan
 Mt. Prospect, IL
I saw this plane at Oshkosh this year (2005) and it is a thing of beauty, even in it's current state. It's nice to see the battle was won in favor of the owner and the plane will be restored.
08/02/2005 @ 05:45 [ref: 10908]
 Grand Rapids, MI
The Minnesota man (Lex Cralley), who was in a court battle with the Navy over the remains of F3A-1 he found and recovered in a North Carolina swamp, won his lawsuit. Cralley is plans to exhibit his Corsair at EAA this year.

Below is the article that was posted at:

Court Ruling: Lex Cralley Can Keep His Corsair
Wed, 11 May '05

Six Year Battle Ends In Victory For Minnesota Mechanic
It took a special act of Congress, but after six years of legal fights, a 50-year old Northwest Airline mechanic can keep his Brewster Corsair.

A Minnesota federal judge last week settled a long-running lawsuit between Lex Cralley and the Justice Department over remains of the fighter.

"I've been under a cloud so long, it almost seems like a dream that it's over," Cralley told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

The aircraft sits in pieces inside Cralley's workshed. But he's so thrilled that he plans to exhibit the warbird at AirVenture 2005 in Oshkosh, WI.

"It remains a piece of naval aviation history to be shared," said Cralley.

But he has his work cut out for him. Restoring the WWII Corsair to flight status will take years of meticulous reconstruction and well over a million dollars, he said. That's the price of dreaming big.

Cralley salvaged the Corsair wreckage 15 years ago from a swamp in North Carolina, where it had been buried in the muck after the aircraft went down during a training flight in 1944. The crash killed Marine Lt. Robin C. Pennington.

Cralley took the wreckage to his home in Princeton, MN, and began trying to figure out how to restore the elegant warbird. But almost ten years after he hauled the wrecked fighter home, the Navy decided it wanted its Corsair back. What was once the Navy's, officials argued, is always the Navy's.

That sparked a big battle -- not only in Minnesota, but in Washington, where members of Congress pointed to the Navy's attempts to reclaim the wreckage as yet another sign of out-of-control government.

05/12/2005 @ 09:20 [ref: 10197]


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